The Challenges of BYOD and Why IT Support is Crucial
A good percentage of companies in London and across the globe are already implementing a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy. This move has not only significantly lowered organisations’ investment in corporate devices but has also proven to be very convenient at this time when the current health crisis is propelling the rise of remote working arrangements.
It’s best to keep in mind, however, that the implementation of BYOD environments has their own set of pain points that should be seriously evaluated and addressed. To find the solution for these issues, the services of an IT support professional are vital.
Challenges of BYOD
In this article, we consider the challenges commonly encountered in a BYOD approach, the risks involved, and how IT support London and/or similar services elsewhere can help your organisation.
Wide range of security risks
Security is one of the key concerns in a BYOD environment. Threats in this area abound and could vary from unauthorized data access when a device gets lost or stolen, leakage of data, malware infection, and so many more. Just the fact that enterprises are allowing the use of employees’ personal devices, and possibly in locations outside of the corporate walls, is enough to open up your business to a bigger threat landscape.
First off, employees’ devices—smartphones, in particular, go with them everywhere, increasing the probability of loss or theft. Secondly, end-users often access consumer websites that don’t practice the same security standards as business sites or download applications that may be designed to inject malware into the device or worse, gain access into the organisation’s network. Without the right measures and reliable IT support in London or wherever you are based, a BYOD arrangement could easily escalate into a security ordeal for the company.
Diversity of devices used
The broad range of devices and operating systems used in a BYOD environment is also a cause for headache among system administrators. And with work-from-home arrangements surging, employees can even use more than one device for work purposes.
If the mobile solutions under your BYOD program do not integrate devices from different manufacturers and OS providers, employees would not only be unhappy; they could also encounter difficulties in completing their tasks, and in effect, curtailing their productivity.
Issues on regulatory compliance
Continued compliance to the regulatory standards applicable to your industry or location is one of the key areas to focus on when applying BYOD in your enterprise. In the US for instance, healthcare organisations have to include compliance to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) in their policy planning. For member countries of the European Union (EU), the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the governing law, while the United Kingdom has its own version of it after Brexit—the UK GDPR.
In all these regulations and other similar laws not mentioned, the essential focus is on the handling of data, particularly personal information. These regulations specify how data should be stored and transferred, as well as where it is going and who has access to it. The penalties for any instance of violation are quite hefty so it’s best to look closely if your BYOD policy covers all the necessary points.
Poor password management
It’s long been touted that passwords are a company’s first line of defense against unauthorised network access that leads to cybersecurity threats and data breaches. With BYOD, ensuring that employees use strong passwords have become even more of a challenge. Many don’t even bother changing them when prompted especially when out of the office.
This is where security awareness and training for employees come into play. Users have to realise the importance of a solid password and understand the basic principles that should be applied when nominating one: unique passwords for each device, avoiding common password naming conventions, and no sharing of passwords between co-workers.
Concerns on data retrieval and removal
In BYOD, it’s the company’s data in the worker’s device. Employees need to understand that the freedom and convenience of using their personal devices come with a high degree of responsibility. For instance, if a gadget goes missing, the user is required to report the loss with the pertinent details to a specific department or person in the company, and within a specified period of time, else valuable data could be put at risk.
The IT team or IT support London staff could then initiate remote wiping of the data. The same process should also be applied if an employee resigns or is forced to quit from the enterprise.
The Value of IT Support
To implement a successful BYOD program that can overcome the challenges discussed above, there are three elements that every organisation needs to have: a clear cut BYOD policy, the right technological solutions, and strong IT support. The first one requires some in-depth planning and lengthy discussions among the leaders and key stakeholders of the company.
Now in choosing the right tech solutions for your BYOD program, you would need to factor in the type of IT support you currently have or intend to acquire. A rather large enterprise for example, would have a dedicated IT team that can effectively deploy and manage mobile device management (MDM) or mobile application management (MAM) solutions that are the go-to tools for BYOD.
If you’re a small to mid-sized business that lacks in-house IT staff, however, you’d be better off finding a reputable managed services provider (MSP) that would not only help you find the ideal solution for your needs, but would also take an active part in overseeing your tech tools—from the installation, deployment, user training, endpoint device management, and more.
With proactive IT support London, your organisation need not rely on break/fix IT services but instead get a combination of knowledgeable people and the right technology for the BYOD policy and system you have envisioned.